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2014 will see nine proposed constitutional amendments sent to the voters. In August, voters approved three amendments to the state constitution, while turning down two. Most notably, Missourians passed the controversial "Right to Farm" amendment, and rejected a ten year increase in sales tax to fund transportation projects. This Tuesday voters will decide upon amendments 2, 3, 6 and 10. Amendment 2: This amendment would allow a defendant's "evidence of prior criminal acts" to be admissible in court if the case involved "crimes of a sexual nature" against a victim under the age of eighteen. Read more here Amendment 3: If approved this amendment would dramatically alter how public school teachers are paid, evaluated, and promoted. It would tie pay to student performance evaluations, and restrict contracts to a maximum of three years, among other changes. Read more here Amendment 6: This amendment would create Missouri's first early voting procedure. If approved, Missouri would establish a six-day early voting window for mail-in and in-person ballots. Voters would not be able to cast ballots on weekends, and outside of the hours poling facilities normally operate. Read more here Amendment 10: If passed, this would place greater fiscal restrictions on the governor. In particular, it would disallow the withholding of revenue based on a projected shortfall, and require public debts be paid. Read more here

Voter Guide To Missouri Amendment 3 On Teacher Tenure

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 would make teacher tenure and pay reliant on student evaluation data.
Sylvia Maria Gross
Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 would make teacher tenure and pay reliant on student evaluation data.
Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 would make teacher tenure and pay reliant on student evaluation data.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR
Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 would make teacher tenure and pay reliant on student evaluation data.

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot seeks to drastically revamp teacher tenure based on student performance. 

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 would require that teachers' continued employment and pay be based on student performance evaluations and would change teacher contract lengths.

Ballot language:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system for which each local school district must receive state approval to continue receiving state and local funding;
  • require teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system;
  • require teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts;
  • and prohibit teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system?

Decisions by school districts regarding provisions allowed or required by this proposal and their implementation will influence the potential costs or savings impacting each district. Significant potential costs may be incurred by the state and/or the districts if new/additional evaluation instruments must be developed to satisfy the proposal’s performance evaluation requirements.

What it means:

If passed, Amendment 3 would give student test scores preference over teacher seniority when considering a teacher's continued employment. Teacher pay would be determined by the data collected. Contracts would be limited to three years or less. 

Collective bargaining by teachers over the evaluation processes also would be banned by Amendment 3.


Proponents of Amendment 3 are far and few between, as the main campaign for the amendment, called Teach Great, closed down over a month ago. Teach Great spokesperson Kate Casas told KCUR's Sam Zeff that after listening to voters across the state, there just wasn't enough confidence to keep pushing the issue.

"We realized after traveling around the state, doing surveying, that this was not the right time to deal with this issue," Casas said.

The amendment stems from St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield's efforts to lobby for a bill to change teacher payment and tenure. Sinquefield reportedly spent $1.6 million of his own money to support Teach Great.


Protect Our Local Schools, a coalition of the Missouri School Board Association, the Missouri National Education Association, and The Missouri Association of School Administrators, has come out in opposition to Amendment 3. 

Protect Our Local Schools spokesman Mike Sherman told St. Louis Public Radio that using evaluations to determine teacher employment will distract educators from being able to truly help students learn.

"You don’t have teachers anymore; you have test administrators," Sherman said. "It takes weeks, and weeks and weeks of class time to prepare for standardized tests."

Copyright 2021 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Cody Newill was born and raised in Independence, Missouri, and attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cody won a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for his work curating kcur.org in 2017. But if you ask him, his true accomplishments lie in Twitter memes and using the term "Devil's lettuce" in a story.
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